July 23, 2002
CLEMSON, SC – Nine former Clemson football players have been named to the 50th Anniversary All-ACC team, the conference announced Tuesday. Clemson’s nine selections are the most among ACC schools.
Players who have been named to the team are Joe Bostic, Jerry Butler, Bennie Cunningham, Jeff Davis, Steve Fuller, Terry Kinard, William Perry, Michael Dean Perry and Anthony Simmons.
All nine players were All-Americans at Clemson. Five of them earned such honors on more than one occasion. The honorees have won 10 ACC titles collectively, with three of the players earning a National Championship ring in 1981.
Eight of the nine players were named to Clemson’s All-Centennial team in 1996. Butler, Davis, Fuller and Kinard are also honored in Clemson’s Ring of Honor.
Each of the honorees has played in the NFL at some point after their Clemson careers. Anthony Simmons, the youngest Clemson player honored by the ACC, is currently a starting linebacker for the Seattle Seahawks. The group collectively has played 76 years in the NFL and combined to win five Super Bowl Championship rings.
Joe Bostic was a four-year starter and two-time All-American between 1975-78 on Clemson’s offensive line. He is also in Clemson’s Hall of Fame. In 1999, A panel of Clemson historians ranked him as the 11th best player in Clemson history. Bostic went on to play 10 seasons in the NFL, all with the Cardinals organization.
Jerry Butler earned first-team Associated Press All-American honors in 1978 and was ranked as the 4th best player in school history in 1999. He was famous for a diving backward touchdown catch that helped beat rival South Carolina in 1977. Butler, also a member of Clemson’s Hall of Fame and Ring of Honor, played nine seasons for the Buffalo Bills in the NFL.
Bennie Cunningham, Clemson’s most decorated tight end, was a two-time All-American. He was a consensus first-team All-American as a junior in 1974 and a first-team choice by the Sporting News in 1975. He was also ranked among Clemson’s greatest players in 1999. Cunningham won two Super Bowl rings with the Pittsburgh Steelers between 1976-85.
Jeff Davis was an All-American in 1981, the year Clemson won the National Championship. Davis is the third leading tackler in Clemson history. “The Judge” is a member of Clemson’s All-Centennial team, Hall of Fame and Ring of Honor. He was inducted into the state of South Carolina Hall of Fame in 2001. He played for six seasons in the NFL with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
Steve Fuller was a third-team All-American on the field in 1978 as well as a two-time Academic All-American. He was also the ACC Player-of-the-Year in 1977 and 1978, the only two-time selection in Clemson history. He was ranked as a top 5 player by Clemson historians in 1999, and is in the Hall of Fame and Ring of Honor. Fuller won a Super Bowl ring with the Chicago Bears in 1985.
Terry Kinard, perhaps Clemson’s most decorated athlete, was a two-time first-team AP All-American in 1981-82. He was a starting safety on Clemson’s 1981 National Championship team. He was named the 1982 National Player-of-the-Year by CBS. Kinard was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame last fall and the state of South Carolina Hall of Fame in 2002. He is still Clemson’s career leader in interceptions with 17, now a 20-year-old record. He won a Super Bowl with the New York Giants and played eight seasons in the NFL.
William Perry was a three-time All-American at middle guard for Clemson, a first in school history. He still ranks among Clemson’s career leaders in sacks and tackles for loss. Also a member of the 1981 team, Perry was named to the All-Centennial team and will be inducted into the Clemson Hall of Fame this fall. “The Refrigerator” won a Super Bowl ring in 1985 with the Chicago Bears.
Michael Dean Perry, Clemson’s career leader in both sacks and tackles for loss, was a first-team All-American in 1987 when he was an Outland Trophy finalist. A member of the All-Centennial team, Perry was inducted into the Clemson Hall of Fame in 2000. He went on to considerable success in the NFL as he played in six Pro Bowls and was a four-time All-Pro with the Cleveland Browns.
Anthony Simmons was Clemson’s second three-time All-American. He likely would have been just the second player in NCAA history to achieve such honors four times had he not left for the NFL after his junior year. He is second on Clemson’s career tackles list, an impressive feat to accomplish in only three years. Simmons is currently a starting linebacker for the Seattle Seahawks.
All-Time ACC Team Clemson Selections
Joe Bostic, OG, 1975-78 Two-year first-team All-American in 1977 and 1978 … four-year starter on the offensive line for Clemson, 1975-78 … named the top blocker in the ACC in 1977 by winning the Jacobs Blocking Trophy … won the same honor for the state of South Carolina in 1977 and 1978 … third-round draft choice of the St. Louis Cardinals in 1979, he played 11 years in the NFL.
Jerry Butler, WR, 1975-78 First-team AP All-American in 1978 … had a record 2,223 yards in pass receiving and at least one pass reception in 35 consecutive games … co-winner of Frank Howard Award with Steve Fuller for the 1978-79 academic year as Clemson’s Athletes of he Year … 10th in the nation in receiving with 4.9 catches per game in 1978 … first-round draft choice of the Buffalo Bills, he was the fifth pick of the entire draft … member of the Clemson Ring of Honor … member of Clemson Athletic Hall of Fame and the State of South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame.
Bennie Cunningham, TE, 1973-75 Consensus first-team All-American his junior year (1974), he was also chosen to some first teams as a senior … two-time first-team All-ACC pick … played for the Pittsburgh Steelers and won two Super Bowl rings (1978 & 1979 seasons) … a first-round draft pick for Pittsburgh in the 1976 draft, he was the 28th player chosen … member of Clemson Athletic Hall of Fame and State of South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame.
Jeff Davis, LB, 1978-81 First-team All-American in 1981 when he captained Clemson to National Championship … MVP of the ACC in 1981 as a defensive player, just the second defensive player to win the award … has the third best career tackles mark in Clemson history with 469 … defensive MVP of the 1981 Orange Bowl when Clemson downed Nebraska to win the national championship … member of the Clemson Ring of Honor in Memorial Stadium … member of Clemson Hall of Fame and South Carolina Athletic Hall of Fame.
Steve Fuller, QB, 1975-78 Third-team All-American in 1978 … first-team Academic All-American in 1977 and 1978 … ACC Player-of-the-Year in 1977 and 1978 … in 1978 he led Clemson to ACC Championship with a perfect 6-0 record and then to a Gator Bowl victory; Tigers were 11-1 and ranked sixth in final poll that year … third in Clemson history with 4,359 yards passing and second in total offense with 6,096 yards in his career … second best pass interception avoidance percentage in NCAA history with 3.33% at the time of his graduation … charter member of Clemson Ring of Honor in Memorial Stadium with Frank Howard … member of Clemson Hall of Fame and South Carolina Hall of Fame … graduated with 3.9 GPA, he won NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship … national Football Foundation Hall of Fame Scholar Athlete.
Terry Kinard, FS, 1978-82 First and still the only Clemson player to be unanimous All-America pick. (1982) … inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 2001 … first two-time Clemson All-American defensive back (1981 and 1982) … a first-team AP All-American two years in a row, the only Clemson player to do that … CBS National Defensive Player-of-the-Year for the 1982 season, only Tiger to win that award … chosen to the USA Today All-College Football Team in the 1980’s … member of Sports Illustrated’s All-Time college football team … named Clemson’s greatest player of the 20th Century by CNNSI.com … all-time Clemson leader in interceptions with 17, a mark that tied the 20-year-old ACC record.
William Perry, DT, 1981-84 First three-time All-American in Clemson football history (1982-83-84) … consensus All-American in 1983 … starter on Clemson’s 1981 National Championship team … first among Division I players in tackles for loss as a senior with 2.45 per game … only fourth defensive player to be named All-ACC player for three years … first Clemson player to be a three-time selection to the All-ACC team … ACC MVP in 1984 … all-time ACC leader in tackles for loss with 60 at the end of his career … first round draft choice of the Chicago Bears.
Michael Dean Perry, DT, 1984-87 First-team All-American in 1987 … ACC Player-of-the-Year as a senior in 1987 … set the ACC record for career tackles for loss (61) and career sacks (28), both were previously held by his brother William … tied the Clemson single game tackle-for-loss mark against N.C. State in 1987 with five for 34 yards … Finalist (one of three) for Outland Trophy in 1987. All-ACC in 1986 and 1987 … went on to All-Pro Career with Cleveland Browns and Denver Broncos, he was named to Pro Bowl five times … member of the Clemson Hall of Fame.
Anthony Simmons, LB, 1995-97 Just the second ACC player in history to be named an AP All-American in three different seasons (Clemson’s William Perry is the other) … earned third-team All-America honors as a freshman and sophomore, first-team as a junior … first-team AP All-American in 1997, Clemson’s first defensive player named to first team since 1982 … finished his career second in Clemson history in career tackles with 486 … led the ACC in tackles in 1996 and 1997 … one of 10 semifinalists for the 1997 Butkus Award … first-team All-ACC for three straight years, joining just Levon Kirkland and William Perry as three-time selections from Clemson.
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